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Volume 22 No. 3
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TV broadcast money up 54 percent as Vancouver Games generates $1.6B in revenue

The International Olympic Committee offset a decline in sponsorship revenue in 2010 with a major increase in TV rights money to generate $1.6 billion in revenue around the Vancouver Games.

The revenue total, which was reported in the organization’s most recent tax filing, represented a 38 percent increase from the $1.2 billion in revenue generated around the previous Winter Olympics, the 2006 Torino Games. The IOC also increased its expenses between those Winter Games, spending $1.4 billion in 2010, up 40 percent from the $1 billion it spent in 2006.

The IOC continued to stockpile money in 2010, increasing its net assets from $1.13 billion in 2009 to $1.4 billion in 2010. The 24 percent increase extends President Jacques Rogge’s push to shore up the IOC’s finances. He said early in his presidency that he wanted to increase the IOC’s reserves so that it could continue to operate if an Olympics were canceled due to political issues. Its reserves have increased fourfold since he arrived in 2001.

The bulk of the International Olympic Committee’s revenue came from broadcast rights, which totaled $1.28 billion.

The bulk of the IOC’s revenue came from TV broadcasting rights, which totaled $1.28 billion, a 54 percent increase from the $830 million paid in 2006. It also received $247.9 million in sponsorship revenue from The Olympic Partner (TOP) program, which offers sponsors like Coca-Cola and Visa global rights to use the five-ring Olympic logo.

The TOP revenue represents a 7 percent decrease from the $268.4 million the organization collected from sponsorship sales in 2006. The decrease reflects the loss TOP partners Kodak and Johnson & Johnson, which dropped their support before the Vancouver Games. The IOC later filled that gap by signing global sponsorships with Dow Chemical and Procter & Gamble.

The IOC spent $874.8 million on grants supporting national Olympic committees, international federations and other members of the Olympic movement. The Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee was the largest single recipient, receiving $414.4 million in broadcast money.

The U.S. Olympic Committee was the second biggest individual beneficiary of IOC revenue. It received $28.4 million from the IOC’s worldwide sponsorship platform and $104.5 million from broadcast rights revenue. By comparison, the 204 other national Olympic committees received $200.1 million from TOP and $56.9 million from the IOC’s Olympic Solidarity fund, which was designed to assist the Olympic committees with supporting their athletes and coaches. The seven sports federations that participate in the Winter Games received $158.2 million in broadcast revenue. The tax filing doesn’t break down how the national Olympic committees or sports federations split their money.